Having cast doubt on the wisdom of asking players to switch from Twenty20 to Championship mode with barely a pause for breath, Martyn Moxon, the director of cricket here, seemed to have a point as Yorkshire, quarter-finalists in the short game, resumed their push for honours in the long format with a performance lacking in substance.
Durham, who won the toss, clearly suspected it would be a day for the bowlers and opted to field. Yet Yorkshire, the Championship leaders, will have expected to do better than 184 all out, even against a swinging ball, on a day in which 13 wickets fell despite more than two hours lost to rain.
Periodically the bat appeared to be gaining the upper hand. Partnerships were forged by Adam Lyth and Andrew Gale, two young batsmen who played splendidly for a while against Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett, and then by Gerard Brophy and Adil Rashid.
Gale looked unlucky – as a charitable assessment of umpire Neil Mallender's decision might put it – to be leg before to Plunkett, pointedly staring at his bat as he left the crease. What was needed, however, was for a senior player to provide a lead and Brophy's 43 hardly qualified.
He did better, though, than Michael Vaughan, whose anticipated confrontation with Harmison, his dropped England colleague, never happened. The national team captain faced 18 balls from Callum Thorp, scoring off none, missing several and finally edging to Phil Mustard behind the stumps.
Plunkett, typically, mixed some belting deliveries with others given the treatment they deserved. Harmison was more economical, although he did not often look like taking wickets until he made the bounce count to have Rashid and then Tim Bresnan caught at third slip. The underrated Thorp was as impressive as anyone.
Like Vaughan, Paul Collingwood wasted his opportunity to spend time in the middle. The troubled England one-day captain, summoned at 30 for two as Durham's reply began uncertainly, carefully negotiated 26 balls for his five only for his patience to snap, a rash swing at Rashid coming down behind the bowler in the hands of Matthew Hoggard.Reuse content